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What is Data Remanence?

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Data remanence are residual representations of data that remain after deleting files or reformatting data storage devices. It is common for operating systems to logically delete files leaving them physically present on a storage device. In theory, it is also possible to recover data that has been sparsely overwritten using techniques such as magnetic force microscopy.
Security practices often call for properly deleting files with wiping or more extensive measures such as degaussing or physical destruction of devices. It is also common to fully encrypt drives to make all files unreadable without a security key.

Feasibility of Recovering Overwritten Data

In theory it is remotely possible to recover data that has been overwritten. For this reason, wiping tools may overwrite data three times often will all zeros, all ones and finishing with a pseudorandom pattern.
Overview: Data Remanence
Traces of data that remain after deleting, formatting or overwriting data.
Also Known As
Residual Data
Related Concepts

Information Security

This is the complete list of articles we have written about information security.
Audit Trail
Canary Trap
Confidential Information
Critical Infrastructure
Cryptographic Keys
Cryptographic Salt
Cybersecurity Risk
Data Breach
Data Remanence
Data Room
Data Security
Deep Magic
Defense In Depth
Digital Identity
Failure Of Imagination
Incident Response
IoT Security
Key Stretching
Network Security
Operations Security
Overlay Network
Password Entropy
Password Fatigue
Proof Of Work
Secure Code Review
Security As A Service
Security Controls
More ...
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